Isabelle Weidemann earns first Canadian gold of the long track speed skating season

Canada also captures bronze in ladies’ and men’s team sprint events at World Cup

TOMAKOMAI, JAPAN – Isabelle Weidemann earned the first individual World Cup medal of her senior career in Tomakomai, Japan on Sunday, a gold in the ladies’ 3000m. Six of her teammates – Ivanie Blondin, Heather McLean, Kaylin Irvine, Laurent Dubreuil, Christopher Fiola and Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu – also found the podium at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating #2, earning bronze medals for Canada in the ladies’ and men’s team sprint events.

Weidemann’s pace of 4:10.185 set a new track record for the Tomakomai Highland Sports Center and was a full 2.82 seconds faster than that of her closest competitor. The native of Ottawa skated in the fourth pairing and held on to top spot as the remaining half of the field made its way around the oval.

“I’m super excited with my first medal,” said an overjoyed Weidemann after the race. “It’s been a long time coming. I’ve had a lot of fourth places, so I’m really happy to come out with a win.”

Weidemann grew up practicing on the outdoor oval at Brewer Park in Ottawa, so she may have had an extra edge skating in the fresh air at Tomakomai. “I skated faster here than in Calgary [4:11 when she won the Canadian Championship] earlier this season,” she explains. “But I trained outside when I was little, so this feels like home.”

Blondin, fellow Ottawan and yesterday’s bronze medalist in the ladies’ mass start, skated to an eighth-place finish in the 3000m with a time of 4:18.906. After two events, Weidemann and Blondin now sit third and sixth in the overall World Cup rankings for the distance, respectively.

Double bronze in team sprint events

In the ladies’ team sprint, Blondin, along with Winnipeg’s McLean and Irvine of Calgary, skated to a bronze medal for Canada, finding the podium after finishing fifth in Obihiro. The team sat in third place with a time of 1:32.810 heading into the final pairing, where last weekend’s top teams Russia and Japan were unable to beat the pace set by the Tomakomai gold medalists from the Netherlands.

“I’m really proud of how our team came together, especially Ivanie regrouping after her 3000m,” said McLean. “I thought we worked well as a team.”

The men’s sprint team also repeated its bronze medal performance for the second World Cup stop in a row. Quebeckers Dubreuil (Lévis), Fiola (Montreal) and Gélinas-Beaulieu (Sherbrooke) completed the race in 1:24.230 to finish third behind Russia and the Netherlands.

“I felt like the race in itself was very scary,” commented Gélinas-Beaulieu in reference to the ice conditions. “Overall, a really good race. I think we had each others back all race long and I think we can do even better at the next one.”

Canadians earn mixed results in individual distances

Skating in the men’s long-distance race of the competition – the 5000m – Jordan Belchos of Toronto placed 13th with a time of 6:45.250, while Calgary’s Ted-Jan Bloemen completed the distance in 6:53.583 to finish 16th.

In the 1000m, Irvine was the lone Canadian on the ladies’ side, skating to 20th place in a time of 1:21.622. Gélinas-Beaulieu and Dubreuil were in action for the men, racing to times of 1:12.443 (13th) and 1:13.311 (16th) respectively.

Four Canadian skaters took part in Division B races on Sunday, with the top result coming from McLean. She moved herself to within one spot of the Division A races in the World Cup rankings with a second-place finish in a time of 1:20.181.

Meanwhile, Keri Morrison of Burlington, Ont. finished 15th (4:24.565) in the Division B ladies 3000m, while David La Rue of Saint-Lambert, Que. and Fiola competed in the B side of the men’s 1000m, coming in 11th (1:12.682) and 21st (1:13.310) respectively.

The Canadian long track team’s next stop on the World Cup circuit will be in Tomaszow Mazoviecki, Poland from December 7-9. There, skaters will look to add to their medal total for the season, which stands at six – one gold, one silver and four bronze – after two events.

For more information, including a link to full results, please visit https://www.speedskating.ca/events/world-cup-2-lt.

 

Canadian neo-seniors earn eight medals on Day 1 of Junior World Cup

It was also a day of podium finishes for the Canadian team at the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating #1 in Tomaszów Mazowiecki on Saturday. Five skaters earned a total of eight medals in the neo-senior competition:

  • GOLD in the Ladies’ Team Sprint (Noémie Fiset, Béatrice Lamarche & Abigail McCluskey)
  • GOLD for Tyson Langelaar in the Men’s 1000m
  • GOLD for Abigail McCluskey in the Ladies’ 3000m
  • GOLD for Jake Weidemann, brother of senior gold medalist Isabelle, in the Men’s 3000m
  • SILVER for Béatrice Lamarche in the Ladies’ 1000m
  • SILVER for Béatrice Lamarche in the Ladies’ 3000m
  • SILVER for Tyson Langelaar in the Men’s 3000m
  • BRONZE for Abigail McCluskey in the Ladies’ 1000m

The competition continues on Sunday.